Poll: Two-Thirds of Calif. Voters Disapprove of Automatic Budget Cuts
About two-thirds of California voters oppose the possibility of automatic, midyear state spending cuts, according to a Field Poll, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
The poll surveyed 1,000 registered voters from Nov. 15 to Nov. 27 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points (Miller, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 12/5).
In June, Gov. Jerry Brown (D) approved an $86 billion state budget plan that was based on spending cuts, fee hikes and expectations of higher revenue later in the fiscal year. Lawmakers also relied on an assumption that the state would receive $4 billion in new revenue over what previously was expected through June 2012.
Under the state budget package, additional spending cuts could be triggered for health care and education programs if revenue projections fall short by more than $1 billion.
Additional cuts could include:
- $100 million from the Department of Developmental Services;
- $100 million from In-Home Supportive Services -- a program for the elderly and people who are blind or have disabilities -- and a 20% reduction in service hours;
- $15 million from Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program; and
- $10 million from IHSS anti-fraud initiatives.
Officials will make a decision on whether to move forward with the triggered cuts based on estimates by the Legislative Analyst's Office and the state Department of Finance.
Last month, LAO released budget projections showing that the state would be $3.7 billion short of budget expectations (California Healthline, 11/17).
The Department of Finance is expected to release its state revenue assessment next week (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 12/5).
The percentage of voters who disapprove with the plan for automatic cuts is nearly identical to the percentage from a September Field Poll (Siders, Sacramento Bee, 12/5).
According to the most recent poll, 36% of voters disapprove of Brown's job performance, up from 32% in September.
Meanwhile, 68% of voters said they believe the state is not moving in the right direction (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 12/5).
On Monday, Capital Public Radio's "KXJZ News" reported on the new Field Poll results (Adler, "KXJZ News," Capital Public Radio, 12/5).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.